Questions About Facing Criminal Homicide Charges

Homicide charges are serious, and if you are even being interviewed about a homicide, you should consult with a professional to discuss your legal challenges. It's reasonable that you have a lot of questions and discuss them with a lawyer. In the meantime, these are some of the things you need to know.

What Are Homicide Charges?

Specific laws vary from state to state, but generally, homicide is defined as willful and premeditated killing, killing in the commission of a felony, or killing via reckless behavior. If you are accused of killing somebody while committing a felony, you may be accused of also participating in a sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary, or robbery, for example. If you are accused of homicide via reckless behavior, it could be that you are accused of driving drunk or otherwise under the influence, just as one example.

What Is the Punishment for Homicide?

Again, each state is a little different in terms of punishment. Often, homicide charges come with years--even decades--in prison. In some states, premeditated homicide can lead to a death penalty consequence.

Shouldn't You Just Take a Plea Bargain?

You might wonder if it is a good idea to take a plea bargain and forego hiring a criminal law attorney. This is not necessarily the best option. A plea bargain may not be in your best interest, and an attorney can evaluate the case for you first.

What Kind of Defense Can You Use?

There are a few defenses your attorney will consider. In some cases, it is appropriate to apply a self-defense case. In other situations, you might use a defense of somebody else or mistaken identity defense. You may even be able to show that the situation was an accident.

What Happens If You Don't Have an Attorney?

If you don't have an attorney, you may not have an adequate defense. The court may assign you a public defender, but defenders often have limited time to contend with your case. If you want to have a personalized defense that is catered to your case, hiring an attorney is the best option.

Criminal Law Attorneys Can Help You 

Do you need help working through the next steps? You aren't alone. A professional will help you through the court case, ensuring you have fair representation despite serious charges you may be against. Call local criminal law attorneys to schedule a consultation to learn more.